On a birthday, and this issue marks SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S seventh, it is natural to try to assess where one stands; the view tends to be somewhat broader than that inspired by an ordinary day or week. As we enter our eighth year of publication we are proud to be able to announce that effective with the first issue of 1962 our circulation will be 1,000,000; and that at the end of the first six months of 1961 SPORTS ILLUSTRATED had become third among all magazines in the total of consumer advertising pages carried. More important than either of these achievements is the reason for them, a reason I think you will find in this description of our magazine. In it you may well recognize qualities of yourself and your family, for these are the qualities we see in our readers. Their existence makes even more gratifying the occasion this issue celebrates.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is a newsmagazine, concentrating each week on the running story of today's energetic, purposeful living to which it strives to be attuned. If it seems to have an air of superiority, it is because the men and women featured in this story, whether watchers or participants, are apt to be a mite condescending to those not fortunate enough to be in their place. If it is occasionally humorous, it is because it deals with an extension of the human spirit which most resembles play. (It has been said, aptly, that the four things men live by are love, work, play and prayer.) If it reveals overtones of morality, that is because sport is best conducted as life is best lived, under fixed and known rules of the game; and the ability to win relates to the capacity to exercise self-discipline. But above all, its subject matter presumes excellence: admiring excellence, achieving excellence. It is written and illustrated by and for people to whom expert performance, is the highest striving; to whom sport is a meaningful mode of expression.